Division of Humanities

The Division of Humanities includes the following disciplines: Art, Art History, Chinese Language & Culture, Classics, English, French Language & Literature, German Language & Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Russian Language & Literature and Spanish Language & Literature.


(See also Art History)


The Art AOC fosters creative and critical studio research bridging disciplinary boundaries. The content knowledge of the studio art curriculum embraces technical comprehension of materials and processes so students may effectively develop appropriate critical thinking and communication skills. Students actively investigate materials and techniques with the support of spacious, well-equipped studio facilities.

Courses address technical and conceptual aspects of art making through historical and contemporary perspectives so students may continue to cultivate these competencies independently in the future.

Course of Study

Classroom studios support a diverse range of media including wood, metal, digital, painting, drawing, and printmaking. Sculpture facilities include a foundry, woodworking area, and welding area. Painting and drawing studios provide ample space for large-scale projects in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. The printmaking studio accommodates intaglio, block printing, and screenprinting.  A centralized exhibition space generates a forum for display and dialog.

Introductory courses provide a foundation that allows students to further develop aptitudes in content knowledge, critical thinking, communication skills, and technical processes of art making, enhancing both independent and advanced coursework.

Upper level studio courses, seminars and tutorials further technical and conceptual proficiency. Group and independent tutorials facilitate personal development, independent thinking, and increasingly self disciplined studio habits.

Prior to the senior thesis semester, students submit a senior thesis proposal. With faculty approval, the proposal is formalized into a final studio/research senior thesis project.

An Area of Concentration in Art includes:

To be fulfilled prior to the fifth term review.  Students should demonstrate engagement in both the 2-D and 3-D disciplines as well as Art History:

Three Foundation Courses:

Drawing I
Painting I
Sculpture I

Three Intermediate Level Studio Art Courses:

Drawing II
Painting II
Sculpture II
Equivalent (with advisor approval)

Two Art History

       Art History
       Art History (19th, 20th or 21st Century)
One Art ISP

A qualifying review and conference in the students fifth term includes an AOC application form, a portfolio of 10 images (cd),  and a 1-2 page statement of purpose.

To be fulfilled following the fifth term conference:

Upper Level Courses:

Two Upper Level Studio Courses
One Art History (must cover modern or contemporary topics)
Studio Art ISP
One Critical Theory Course (with advisor approval)
Two semesters of Senior Art Seminar
Two Semesters of Thesis Tutorial

Thesis Requirements:

Studio Art Thesis Project/Exhibition
Written Thesis
Baccalaureate Exam
Portfolio of 20 images (cd)
Artist Statement
Professional Packet

Students may also complete a slash Art AOC.  Requirements vary depending on whether Art is on the first or second side of the slash.  If Art comes first it is considered a major and all the above course requirements are mandatory.  If the Art is on the second side of the slash it is considered a minor with a reduction of requirements including one Art History requirement, one Art ISP, one upper level studio course, and thesis exhibition.

Faculty in Art

Kim Anderson
Richard Herzog

Art History AOC

(See also Art)

Art History is the discipline concerned with the historical study of visual communication. It includes much of what is traditionally considered “Art,” such as works in fresco, oil paint, or marble by well-known masters. But art history can also be understood to encompass a broad range of objects that are experienced visually: films, advertisements, ceramics, posters, and quilts. Art historians study the ways in which artifacts that are experienced visually are composed and constructed, and how they communicate a variety of messages to different groups of people.

At New College, students are expected to acquire a basic familiarity with the major periods and movements of western art. They also become acquainted with the various methods currently practiced by art historians. Approaches  to studying the history of art include the traditional  object -based analysis of style and subject matter as well as the interpretation  of art in its broader cultural context, using a variety of methods ranging from social history to feminist theory. Students are encouraged to pursue their own intellectual interests, arriving at their own definitions of what constitutes “Art” and formulating their own critical approaches to the discipline.

Direct contact with works of art is an essential component of the program. The Ringling Museum of Art, adjacent to New College, provides an excellent library as well as regularly scheduled exhibits, lectures, and films. Numerous local galleries also provide exhibits of major artists, both regional and national. Students are encouraged to undertake museum internships and to pursue opportunities for study and travel abroad. The study of art history may serve as pre-professional training leading to a career in teaching or museum and gallery work. Training in art history has also proved to be valuable preparation for a wide range of careers, including law, business, and the Foreign Service.

The program offers a range of courses and tutorials in each of the major historical periods: Ancient/Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, and Modern. Representative course offerings in art history include: The Gothic Cathedral; Medieval Women: Art, Gender, and Spirituality; Northern Renaissance  Art; Michelangelo  and His Era; Major Artists of the Baroque; 19th-Century  Painting; The Landscape Depicted; Fin de Siècle; 20th-Century  Painting; Modernism  and Madness;  Images of Women in Modern Art; and Paris of the Impressionists,  among others.

An Area of Concentration in Art History normally includes the following:

1.       A broad selection of courses in the discipline covering all of the major periods and emphasizing the field in which the senior thesis will be written. This involves undertaking no fewer than twelve courses or tutorials in the discipline, with two each in the Ancient/Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, and Modern periods. Two studio courses or their equivalent are required.

2.       Breadth beyond the discipline is stressed. Courses in other disciplines (literature, history, philosophy, music, religion, psychology, the sciences, etc.) should be chosen to constitute a coherent and directed program of study. At least one course must be taken in each of the divisions outside of the humanities.  The study of at least one foreign language (normally French or German) is required. Travel abroad and off-campus study are highly recommended.

3.       A student should apply to the art history faculty in the fifth semester for approval of art history as an Area of Concentration. Acceptance will depend upon a review of the student's papers and evaluations in the discipline, and on a brief statement of his or her purposes for choosing the major.

4.       A senior thesis in the field.

Representative senior theses in art history:

·          Political Art in the Post-Modern Period

·          Pains, Pleasures and Puns: Women Artists of the '70s Reclaim the Female Body

·          Fabricated Bodies: The Empty Dress in Art and Culture

·          Traffic Limited Zone in Florence, Italy: A Renaissance in the Use of Urban Space?

·          Milk, Blood, and Tears: Maternal Images of the Virgin in Art of the 14th and 15th Centuries

·          Uncompromising Travesty: Caravaggio, Homosexuality, and Interpretation

·          Pre-Raphaelite Images of Women: Fantasies of Dread and Desire

Faculty in Art History

Magdalena E. Carrasco
Cris Hassold

Chinese Language & Culture AOC

The Chinese program at New College offers courses at all levels of Chinese language as well as courses and tutorials on Chinese language, literature and culture in English translation. Language courses are offered regularly, and cultural content courses change each year covering both surveys and special topics. Recently offered courses include First-year and Second-Year  Modern Chinese, Classical Chinese Literature:  A Survey, Modern Chinese Literature:  A Survey, New Chinese Cinemas of Greater China, The Writing of the Strange in Classical Chinese Literature,  Heroism and Chinese Narratives,  as well as Revolution,  Love and Modern Chinese Fiction.

Students with an Area of Concentration in Chinese are expected to develop a high level of proficiency in all aspects of the Chinese language, a broad historical and cultural knowledge of classical and modern Chinese culture, and in-depth knowledge of certain authors, genres, periods or themes. In light of the interdisciplinary nature of the Chinese program, students are encouraged to take courses from related fields and disciplines, and/or complete a combined AOC with another discipline.

To complete an AOC in Chinese, students are required to take a minimum of twelve courses, tutorials and ISPs, both within the Chinese program and in related fields, and a thesis focusing on any aspect of Chinese literature and culture. Students are encouraged to take more classes and do ISPs and tutorial in areas that interest them, and students are also welcome to come up with their own specific topics after consulting with faculty and do advanced work in a specific genre and/or a time period.

Required courses in Chinese include 6-semester  language courses, one (1) advanced  reading in classical or modern Chinese, one (1) survey courses in classical or modern Chinese Literature and culture, one (1) tutorial in subjects of students’ interests and one (1 ) special topic course in classical or modern Chinese culture. Special topics and tutorials are interchangeable depending on course availability. In addition, students must take two (2) China-/East Asia-related courses in other disciplines of humanities and social sciences including but not limited to political science, philosophy, religion, art/art history, history, gender studies, anthropology and sociology.

To complete a combined  AOC with another program, students are required to take 5 -semester course (or equivalent) of Chinese language, two (2) courses in classical or modern Chinese culture, and one (1) China-/East-Asia-related course in Humanities  or social sciences.

Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad at universities in PRC or Taiwan for at least one (1) semester since studying abroad is essential to language mastery and cultural learning. Credits will be transferred to New College, and placement tests will be given so as to place students in courses at appropriate levels. Please talk to faculty members in the Chinese program for additional information.

Faculty in Chinese

Jing Zhang
Aijun Zhu

Classics AOC

Classics is the study of the civilization of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The interdisciplinary study of Classics includes the study of Greek and Latin language, literature, history, art, and philosophy. The literature and history of the ancients have served as models and foils for thousands of years. A deep knowledge of antiquity provides an excellent vantage point from which students may understand and explore the modern world.

Study of the classical languages enhances a student's ability to master any foreign language, as well as to control her or his own, through an increased vocabulary and deeper understanding of the mechanism of language itself. Moreover, the art, literature, and philosophy of the ancients not only provide us vital models to inform and clarify our critical perspective, but they also continue to excite our thought and our admiration for their freshness of vision and beauty of form.

Greek and Latin language at all levels are regularly offered at New College. Students who wish to pursue an area of concentration in Classics will work with faculty to developed individualized courses of study through tutorials and ISPs.

An Area of Concentration in classics will normally include:

1.       A high level of proficiency in ancient Greek or Latin. This will ordinarily be demonstrated by successful completion of six semester courses or the equivalent in either language, and by the equivalent of three semester courses in the other classical language as well.

2.       A good general knowledge of classical literature, history, and culture. This will normally be demonstrated  by successful completion  of advanced  language courses in Greek or Latin literature and of at least four courses, tutorials, or ISPs on topics such as Greek and Roman history, art, philosophy, mythology,  and literature.

3.       At least two semesters (or the equivalent) of a modern language.

4.       A senior thesis. This might take the form of a critical analysis of a classical author or a study of a cultural problem in history, literature, or thought. In any case, a significant portion of the research should demonstrate the student's capacity to use primary classical texts or artifacts.

Representative senior theses:

·          Ancient Greek Prostitution

·          Martyrs and Murderers:  Women of Euripides

·          The Hero in Chinese and Roman Epic

·          The Galli: Transgendered Priests of Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East

·          The Idea of Utopia in Plato's Republic

·          The Underworld  in Homer, Vergil, and Dante

·          Translation  and Production  of Plautus' Miles Gloriosus

Faculty in Classics

David S. Rohrbacher
Carl Shaw (On Leave 2013-14)
Naomi Campa (Visiting 2013-14)

English AOC

Overall English is a tremendously flexible field, founded on careful engagement with artistic writing or “literature,” but reaching into the corners of communicating in English including film, digital media, and performance. Our field engages questions that intersect with philosophy, cultural anthropology, and the arts. A degree in English can lead in many directions after college—from writing-intensive careers in publishing and education to less obvious tracks in library or curatorial work, healthcare, human resources, marketing and business, and public service with non-profit organizations. See more details about our graduates and what they are doing now on our webpage: http://www.ncf.edu/english

At New College we offer regular courses in literature and culture from the early modern period to contemporary print and electronic media, and performance.  The Area of Concentration in English focuses on intersections between English language literature and its historical and cultural environments. Students graduating in this field should be able to analyze texts from a variety of genres and historical periods; to recognize the role of literature in encounters between cultures across national, ethnic, and temporal lines; and to be able to deploy a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature.

Expectations and Guidelines for Planning and Applying for an AOC in English

Students should plan a balanced program of study in consultation with the faculty in English; failure to consult with faculty is likely to weaken an application significantly. Successful applications will demonstrate the appropriate qualitative and quantitative preparation (see below*), and especially:

1) that the student is capable of strong work in advanced literature courses,

2) that the student has been in contact with faculty about viable possible thesis topics, 3) that the student is close to meeting    the requirements below and can complete them and the thesis in time for graduation,

4) that the student has worked with at least three of the English faculty, and

5) that the student has taken advantage of a combination of courses both in English and in other fields to achieve a minimum of two course-equivalents in each of the areas listed below.

a) Textual analysis and close reading

Close reading is the foundation of literary analysis. Students should demonstrate the ability to analyze technical features of verse, prose, and dramatic writing at a minimum; discuss the relation between form and content in multiple genres; and analyze the use of specific language.

b) Historical engagement

In order to work effectively with non-contemporary literature, students should demonstrate engagement with historical methodolog(ies) in addition to some understanding of the relation between the material studied and its particular historical situation. Students are required to take courses in more than one historical period.

c) Cross-cultural encounters

In order intelligently to consider the multiple perspectives that literature makes available, students should demonstrate engagement with approaches to issues of national, racial, ethnic, and sexual difference. Courses dealing with cultures within and beyond the English-speaking world are particularly appropriate to this requirement; students are required to complete at least one course in a non-anglophone literature either in translation or in the original language.

d) Criticism and/or theoretical approach

The scholarly conversation about literature is rich and complex; an understanding of critical approaches equips students to take part in it. Students should demonstrate some familiarity with relevant theoretical approaches; recognize that different methods produce different readings of the same text; be able to incorporate secondary criticism into their own writing, and choose appropriate approaches to their own projects.

NOTE: Up to 50% of the expectation for work in (2) Historical Engagement may be fulfilled by coursework in history, art history, or a related discipline; likewise to 50% of the expectation for work in (3) Cross-cultural Encounters may be fulfilled by coursework in history, anthropology, international studies/political science, or a related discipline. ALL of these categories may be fulfilled by work in non-anglophone literatures, but for the English Area of Concentration, it is expected that the majority of work will be in anglophone literatures. (Students who plan substantial work in at least two other language traditions may want to consider the Literature Area of Concentration.)

In General:

•Although not required, performance and creative work are strongly encouraged; students particularly interested in and prepared for creative work may consider the Creative+ thesis option. [see link]

•English values work in related fields highly, particularly history, art history, anthropology, philosophy, religion, classics, and of course literatures in languages other than English; such coursework will strengthen an application significantly. For students interested in creative work, work in art and/or music may also be appropriate.


At the time of application, students should have not fewer than 5 and not more than 8 course-equivalents in English literature on their transcripts.  8 course-units are the minimum for an English AOC; a Joint-Disciplinary AOC is possible with 5 course equivalents in the field, roughly ½ of the expectation for a full AOC.

Courses in English indicate which of the requirements they meet in their course descriptions. Many courses will meet more than one requirement; no single course may be counted as meeting more than two requirements on the Application Form.


•textual analysis and close-reading skills are evident in prior coursework at a level that gives confidence in the student’s ability to undertake the senior thesis project;

•writing skills and expressive fluency to the level necessary for preparing to do advanced work in the field are also demonstrated;

•the basis for beginning to integrate secondary criticism effectively into one’s own argument is established.


Applications may be accepted with specific requirements for completing the degree, denied, or deferred; each applicant will receive a letter that details his or her specific decision and suggests next steps. Acceptance means that the student is approved and that any of the English faculty will sign the Provisional AOC form which is due Friday before break of the relevant term. Deferral means that the student is welcome to apply again at a later date and usually some guidance toward making a more successful application will be given. Applications that have met the quantitative expectations, but have not yet reached the qualitative expectations may be denied (not invited to reapply), or deferred.

---> Once accepted, the student is ready to embark on the two-semester process of researching and writing a senior thesis project. See here for details of different pathways for the thesis in English literatures.

A representative sample of recent courses in English includes:

African American Literature; American Humor; Becoming Jane Austen: The Romantic-era Novel and Women Writers; Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales; Critical Theory in the US: An Introduction; Jazz Poetry; Lines of Sight: Poetry and the Visual Arts; Mapping America: Introduction to American Literature; Reading Poetry; Renaissance Epic: The Poetry of Nationalism; Shakespeare: Plays and Poetry, Twentieth-Century British and American Drama: Realism and Its Discontents; and Virginia Woolf.

A student whose particular interests or needs are not fully served by the courses offered in a particular semester may arrange tutorials or independent reading projects with relevant faculty at their discretion.

If a student chooses a joint or interdisciplinary Area of Concentration of which English is a part, the qualification procedure for the English part will be as above, except that an appropriate reduction in the above aspects of English to be mastered will be made by unanimous decision of the faculty in English.

Representative senior thesis projects in English include:

·          Annihilation, Negation, and Revelation: Deconstructive Trauma and the Mysterious/Unknown in the Works of Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor

·          Fearing the Future: The Uncanny Child and Modern Children’s Literature by L. Frank Baum, Neil Gaiman, and J. K. Rowling

·          Form or Fascism?: Exploring Genre and Innovation in Three Nontraditional Sonnet Sequences.

·          Illustration as Interpretation: Illustrations of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

·          Jazz Poetry: The American Idiom.

·          Killing Pearl: […] Confronting Motherhood and the Redemptive Fantasy of The Scarlet Letter in Suzan-Lori Parks’s The Red Letter Plays

·           “A Maneuvering Business”: Courtship, Family, and Marriage in Novels of Manners (Burney, Austen, Edgeworth)

·          A New Multimedia Edition of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera

·          The Quest to Find Utopia: From Thomas More to Aldous Huxley

·          Reclaiming Representations: The Revisionist Work of Ishmael Reed

·          “[T]o isolate her out of the loud world:” Towards a Maternal Continuum in the Writings of William Faulkner

·          Why a Duck? Self, Locality, Community, and Relevance in the Work of Charles Bernstein and Susan Howe.

Faculty in English

Andrea Dimino
Nova Myhill
Miriam L. Wallace
Robert Zamsky (Dean of Studies)
Melanie Hubbard (Visiting 2013-14)



The French program at New College offers courses at all levels of French language and courses and tutorials on French and Francophone literature, both in English translation and in the original. Literature course offerings change each year and include surveys and studies of a particular author, genre, or theme, from medieval chansons through twenty-first-century fiction.  Recently offered courses include Double Stories: Historic/Heuristic Fictions; World War II France in Film and Fiction; Proust's Remembrance of Things Past; The Twentieth -Century French Novel; The French Renaissance: Humanism and Humor; Twentieth -Century Drama; Literary Movements of the Nineteenth  Century; Giving Voice to Identity: Francophone Literatures from the Americas; Beyond the Hexagon: the Politics of Francophone Literature;  L’ amour interdit; Le rire à travers les siècles; and Contes et Conteurs.

Course of study:

French language is taught in a five-semester sequence after which students can enroll in courses and tutorials on literary and cultural topics. Beginning French I & II and Intermediate French I & II focus on oral and written communication. Advanced French, which is offered each fall, is both a systematic review of grammar and an introduction to the study of literature in French.  A placement test is offered at the start of the fall term so that students who have previously studied French can be placed at the appropriate level. After completing Advanced French, students are prepared to enroll in courses and tutorials in which they will read, discuss, and write in French. Each spring one seminar is offered that is conducted entirely in French. These thematic surveys (L’amour interdit, Le rire à travers les siècles, Contes et conteurs) expose students to a wide range of literary styles.  In addition, one other literature course is offered each semester that is open both to students who can read French as well as to those who read in translation.

Students may complete an Area of Concentration in French with a focus in either French Literature or French Studies. In both cases, students are required to have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written French, as demonstrated by the completion of Advanced French or the equivalent, and strongly satisfactory evaluations in courses conducted in French.  Students are strongly encouraged to arrange an Independent Study Project or off-campus semester in a French-speaking country or region.

For a concentration in French Literature, students: 1) need to demonstrate,  by means of courses and tutorials, familiarity with literature of different genres (long and short prose fiction, poetry, and drama) and historic periods (pre-1700; 1700-1899; 1900-present), and at least one course or tutorial in Francophone  literature;  2) must complete one course or tutorial in literary theory; 3) are encouraged  to undertake relevant course work in related fields, such as history, art history, music, philosophy, or political science. Students are expected to complete at least 8-10 semester-long courses or tutorials for the AOC, with as much coursework as possible in French. Only courses beyond the level of Advanced French count toward the AOC.

For a concentration in French Studies, students need to coordinate with faculty in French and in other relevant disciplines in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences to develop a course of study that combines work in French literature with work in fields such as French music, history, art history, politics, or philosophy. Students must complete at least 2 semester-length courses or tutorials in each of three different disciplines. As above students are expected to complete at least 8-10 semester-long courses or tutorials for the AOC, with as much coursework as possible in French. Only courses beyond the level of Advanced French count toward the AOC.

Sample senior thesis titles:

·          Subversion,  Refraction and the Do-It-Yourself  Proust: Autobiographical Intertexts of La Recherche

·          Film-Poetry Synthesis  and the Birth of Experimental Cinema in France

·          Questions  de genre: Story and Identity in the Feature Films of Safi Faye

·          Body as Text: Narrative Structures and Gendered Identities in Three Novels by Tahar Ben Jelloun

·          Rethinking Québecois  Identity in Three Immigrant Novels

·          Reconfigurations de la corporéité dans l’œuvre de Monique Wittig

·          Litt/oral Stories: Strategies  of Resistance  in Four Novels of the Caribbean Beyond Rational Choice: The Politics of the French Extreme-Right

Faculty in French

Amy B. Reid
Jocelyn C. Van Tuyl

German Studies


The study of German language and literature at New College begins with a two-year, four-course sequence (four full- semester courses: Elementary German I & II and Intermediate German I & II). For students who have either completed the above sequence or can demonstrate the appropriate proficiency in German, faculty regularly offer advanced -level courses, such as Advanced German: Die deutsche Lyrik; German Culture: The New Germany, German Culture: Berlin and the New Germany; and Advanced German: Kulturgeschichte der Bundesrepublik, as well as individual and group tutorials in advanced language skills, German literature in the original, and cultural topics.

In addition to the curriculum in German language and literature in the original, there is usually one course each semester on a German Studies topic that is accessible to students with no background in the language. Recent courses taught in English translation include: Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Arthur Schnitzler,  and Robert Musil and the Crisis of Identity in Early 20th Century Central Europe; Race in Eighteenth-Century Germany; Women and Seduction in 18th- and 19th-century  German Drama; From Caligari to Run Lola Run: A Cultural History of German Cinema; The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht (a survey of twentieth -century Austrian, German, Swiss, and East German drama, with a focus on dramaturgy before and after Brecht's "Epic Theatre"); The Age of Goethe (a study of works by Lessing, Lenz, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, and contemporary  women authors); and Poems Before and After Auschwitz  (poetry from Stefan George, Rilke, Else Lasker -Schüler, and Gottfried Benn to Verena Stefan and Christa Reinig).

Course of study:

An Area of Concentration in German requires a solid command of the language gained by completing coursework beyond the second year and/or participating in a program at another institution, especially one in a German-speaking country. In the past, New College students have accomplished this by completing summer ISPs and off-campus semesters at branches of the Goethe Institute in Germany. At least one course in German history (Medieval, 19th or 20th Century) is also required, and relevant coursework in art history, religion, music, or German philosophy is encouraged.  Students should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of major works and authors from the modern and classical periods in German literature.  The senior thesis may focus on any aspect of German cultural studies, and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

Sample senior thesis titles:

·          Women, Sexuality,  and Virtue: The Study of a Gender Paradigm in Weimar Film

·          The Individual in the Modern Age: Early Twentieth  Century Vienna

·          Joseph K's Inner Struggle: An Analysis of Franz Kafka's The Trial

·          Manuscripts  Don't Burn: The Evolution of the Faust Legend From Marlowe to Bulgakov

·          An Economic and Social Analysis of Nazi Germany and the Volkswagen  Project

Faculty in German

Glenn R. Cuomo
Wendy Sutherland

Humanities AOC

Humanities AOC Description

A student who intends to complete a Divisional AOC in “Humanities” will meet the following requirements: 

1.  The student should demonstrate the ability to read, think, communicate, create and perform in the humanities through successful completion of one or more undertakings in each of the following fields: 

a)       the arts

b)       literature(s)

c)       philosophy and religion

2.  The student should explore diverse approaches to the humanities through successful completion of at least one undertaking in each of the following areas (examples in parentheses are meant as suggestions, not as prescriptions):

a)       historical study in one of the humanities disciplines (ex. The Western Art Music Tradition, Christian Scriptures, art history courses)

b)       theoretical/critical study in one of the humanities disciplines (ex. Introduction to Music, Music Theory I, courses in philosophy, Introduction to Religion)

c)       creative work in one of the humanities disciplines (ex. courses in art, music theory, acting, directing, creative writing,  dance, stagecraft)

3.  The student should complete from 10-12 term-length activities in the humanities.  Transfer students should discuss their coursework from other institutions with a faculty member in the humanities in order to determine if fewer than 10 courses at New College in this area would be appropriate.

4.  The student should study a foreign language (modern or classical) that is related to his or her special interest in the humanities.  Students will be required to successfully complete at least one course in a foreign language sequence at New College, at the intermediate level (third semester) or above.  A course or tutorial studying literature in the original language fulfils this requirement.

Intermediate-level coursework in a language not taught regularly at New College from regionally accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis as fulfilling the language requirement of the Humanities AOC.

5.  Students who declare a Humanities AOC during their fifth contract are encouraged when possible to create a pre-thesis ISP that designs a plan to complete a thesis or thesis project in the humanities, to develop the Thesis Proposal, and consider the appropriate work for the 6th, 7th, and 8th contracts.

6.  The student’s senior project should involve work in one or more of the disciplines in the division.  The form and content of senior projects [thesis-monograph, creative project, or “academic portfolio”] will be defined in close collaboration with the academic sponsor and with the approval of the baccalaureate committee.  

Representative senior theses in the humanities:

·     Stendhal and the Heroines of His World

·     The Evolution of Orpheus from the Classical World Period to the Renaissance

·     The Pioneer Spirit: A Biographical Play

·     Faith in Spite of Evil

·     Poet Under Saturn: An Evening with Paul Verlaine

·     Style and Form in Print Journalism

·     Inside Out: Collaborative Authorship and Narrative Distribution in Public New Media Artworks and Contemporary Technocultural Developments

·     Word, Myth, Seeing and Becoming: A Revision in the Education of Black Teenagers

·     Justice and Happiness in the Republic

·     "You Are About to Begin Reading": Accessibility and Postmodernist Performance in Works by Italo Calvino, Christian Jankowski, and Francis Alÿs

Literature AOC

This concentration is designed for students wishing to study literature but not to specialize in the literature of a single national or linguistic tradition.  It should be understood that the requirements and procedures for areas of concentration in English, French literature, Spanish literature, German literature, Russian literature, and classics are distinct from those given below. Students should see the catalog entries regarding these other areas of concentration, and consult their sponsors and literature faculty members about which concentration is best for them.

Application for Literature Area of Concentration

The Area of Concentration in Literature involves the following requirements:

1.       Study of literary history;

2.       Familiarity with critical theories;

3.       Familiarity with works in major genres of literature (fiction, poetry, drama);

4.       Ability to analyze literature critically; and,

5.       Ability to read and understand texts of moderate difficulty in a foreign language that is related to the student's interest in literature.

The requirement may be met either by successfully  completing  the third semester of one of the foreign language sequences at New College or by means of an examination  arranged by the instructor of the language specified by the student.

These requirements should be met through a balanced program of courses and tutorials including work in at least three linguistic traditions either in the original or in translation.  Students planning to undertake the concentration should work in close consultation with a sponsor from the literature faculty.

Early in the first module of the fifth semester, the student submits to the Literature faculty a Proposal for an Area of Concentration in Literature.  Secure a copy of the Proposal form at the Humanities office.  Check with any Literature faculty member regarding the deadline for submission of the Proposal form, which is earlier than the deadline for submission of the College-wide Provisional Area of Concentration form.  If a student chooses a split or interdisciplinary Area of Concentration of which "Literature" is one part, she or he must also submit a Proposal to the Literature faculty.

The faculty meets and considers the Proposals submitted to it, reviewing each student's progress in meeting the requirements and future plans.  If the student is admitted to the concentration, the faculty may make stipulations as to further work the student needs to do to complete the concentration.   In cases of split or interdisciplinary concentrations, appropriate adaptations of the Literature requirements will be approved by faculty consensus.

The student is notified of the faculty's decision.  She or he then secures the College-wide Provisional Area of Concentration form, and submits it to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline.  The faculty signatures required on this form may be provided by any Literature faculty members.

The student should work with her or his sponsor on plans for meeting any stipulations the Literature faculty has made.

Music AOC

New College offers an area of concentration (AOC) in music.  Students can also create their own areas of concentration by combining music with another major field (a “slash”), or concentrate on music as part of an AOC in Humanities.

Students who study music at New College are challenged to test the boundaries of what exactly music is.  Coursework in music provides a framework for experiencing music as creative expression, as harmony, melody, rhythm, form, and instrumentation, as a document of historical practices, as sound, as physical gesture, as a social and political phenomenon or tool, as an important and pleasurable social experience, or as a measure of cultural change.  Whether encountered as a performance  that resembles experimental  theater, through the ear buds of an iPod, though a dorm-room  wall, or as the song of the mockingbird  at 3 am, the music program at New College recognizes  that music challenges  as often as it comforts, and represents conflict as often as it communicates  a message of peace and understanding.   Through developing  skills of basic musicianship  and introducing students to a wide array of musical styles in the Western art music tradition with a smattering  of social theory, world music, and many opportunities  to compose,  the New College music program educates students to listen, observe, and interpret with sympathy for others.

Performance at New College is seen as a further opportunity to integrate theory and practice.  Students can perform in New Music New College, which presents world-class performers in concert and master classes, and involves students in at least one performance each academic year.  These opportunities for students often stem from work in courses and tutorials, and emphasize experimental approaches to music.  Students may also sing in the New College Chorus or arrange their own chamber groups.  In addition, the music faculty can help students make connections with musicians in the Sarasota community who teach private lessons. (However, students must pay for those lessons over and above the tuition and fees that New College charges).

New College also offers composers opportunities to hear their work played by professional musicians.  Every spring semester a chamber ensemble associated with the Sarasota Orchestra (the Sarasota String Quartet, Sarasota Woodwind Quintet, or Sarasota Brass Quintet) rehearses the works of New College student composers, which culminates in a performance.

An Area of Concentration in Music normally includes the following requirements:

1.       History—Four courses or full-term academic activities.  Students must complete satisfactorily at least four full-term academic activities that span from “early music” (before 1700) to present.  This goal can be accomplished  in three ways:

2.       Taking the course called “Western Art Music Tradition” and three additional music history courses of the student’s choice. Taking a course on early music and three courses that span the repertory between 1700 to present.

3.       Taking a combination of courses and tutorials to explore Western art music from its first written expressions in Europe to present.

4.       Theory—Music Theory I & II.  While these two courses are required, students are encouraged to continue their study of theory beyond this point through tutorials in counterpoint and music analysis.

5.       Language—one language course at New College at the intermediate level or higher.  Study of languages not offered at New College will require documentation of intermediate -level proficiency through completion of a course at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.

6.       Secondary discipline—two courses or tutorials from a perspective outside of music that have implications for the study of music.  The music faculty created this requirement in order to enhance the methods, tools and patterns of thought that a student may apply to the study of music.  These two courses could focus on anthropology (The Anthropology of Performance, Ethnography), history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, political science, sociology, English, or any other discipline within which music as a subject may be considered.   For further clarification of the path appropriate to each individual student, consult a faculty member in music.

7.       Ethnomusicology—One term-length course, tutorial, or ISP that recognizes music from outside the Western Art Music tradition.  These courses may include “Music and Place” or “Cognitive Ethnomusicology.” Other courses from outside the music curriculum may be accepted with permission from a faculty member in music.

8.       Keyboard Ability—sufficient skill to play four-part chorales at sight, improvise harmony, and realize a figured bass.  These skills can be acquired through enrollment in Keyboard Skills.

Combined AOC including Music

Students at New College may combine their study of music with another discipline in what is often referred to as a combined area of concentration, or a “slash” AOC.  A combined area of concentration including Music (a “slash” in Music), minimally requires the following coursework, as well as music as a component of the senior thesis and a faculty member in music serving on the baccalaureate committee:

1.       Music Theory I

2.       At least four additional courses in music.

Titles of Recent Theses and Thesis Projects involving Music:

·            John Ewing, “A Historical and Algorithmic Study of Fux’s Approach to Counterpoint,” Music AOC, 2009.

·            Adele Fournet, “Chicks with Picks: An Ethnography of Female Rock Musicians in Tampa, Florida,” Music AOC, 2009.  Adele has published a revised version of her thesis in the on-line journal, Music and Arts in Action.  See the abstract here.

·            Erica Gressman, “WAVES:  An Exploration of Sound and Light,” Art/Music AOC, 2009.

·            See the NCF library web site for more titles of New College theses, found here.

Faculty in Music
Maribeth Clark
Stephen T. Miles (Provost)
Mark Dancigers (Visiting 2012-14)                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Philosophy AOC

The pursuit of philosophy contributes to understanding ourselves and the world around us in at least three different ways. First, it affords an opportunity to acquire an appreciation of the Western intellectual tradition (through the exploration of classical, medieval, and modern thought).  Pursuing this opportunity will give students specific content knowledge about the various historical periods of Western philosophy and Western culture in general, and about contemporary philosophical thought.  Second, it provides the symbolic methods necessary for investigating principles of reasoning and patterns of argument (through an analysis of the relationship between language, logic, and the world).  Pursuing this opportunity will develop competencies in critical thinking.  Third, it stimulates an appreciation of human values and interpersonal relations (through the consideration of alternative conceptions of ethical, social, and political values).  Such study is critical for communication with others, particularly those who may not share one’s own worldview.   The study of philosophy, therefore, should contribute toward the development of each student's analytical problem-solving capability and general ability to deal effectively with issues involving human values.  With its concentration on analysis, clarity, and argument, the study of philosophy is particularly well suited for the development of critical thinking.  Almost all philosophy courses address spoken and written communication through class discussion and written assignments.

Courses offered in philosophy  include: Introduction to Philosophy,  Aesthetics and the Arts, The Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics,  Free Will and Determinism,  Medieval Philosophy,  Symbolic Logic, Ethical Theory, Epistemology,  The Philosophy of Language, Classical Philosophy,  Modern Philosophy,  Contemporary  Linguistic  Philosophy,  Kant, Hegel, Carnap and Quine, Wittgenstein,  Heidegger, Whitehead, Merleau-Ponty, Kierkegaard,  Foucault, and others.

An Area of Concentration in philosophy normally includes the following:

1.       At least ten undertakings  in philosophy, including:

a.       competence  in modern philosophy  and either ancient or medieval philosophy  (preferably  both)  (Specific Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills)

b.       one course (or equivalent) in deductive logic  (Critical Thinking Skills)

c.        one course (or equivalent) in introduction  to ethics or ethical theory plus one additional course in value theory (e.g., aesthetics,  metaethics,  social and political philosophy)  (Specific Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills)

d.       two courses (or equivalent) in contemporary,  analytic systematic areas (e.g., metaphysics,  epistemology,  phenomenology, philosophy  of religion) (Specific Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills)

e.       one course in Continental thought (Specific Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills).

2.       An oral qualifying examination  by the end of the student's fifth semester, which includes an evaluation of the student's program of study in philosophy  as well as a discussion  of the prospective  thesis topic (Communication Skills).

3.       A senior thesis and baccalaureate examination (Specific Content Knowledge, Critical Thinking, Communication Skills).

Representative senior theses in Philosophy:

·          Kierkegaard  and the Concept of Self

·          What is Philosophy?

·          Causal Theories of Knowledge

·          Theories of Scientific Explanation

Faculty in Philosophy

Aron Z. Edidin
April N. Flakne
Douglas C. Langston

Religion AOC

The religion program at New College aims to encourage critical thinking about religious ideals and practices in history; to develop empathetic insight into the fundamental ideas and values of other peoples, times, and places which are key to any effective communication with those outside one’s own culture and time; and to foster critical self-consciousness about the values and commitments of one's own age and society and thus learn about the historically developed content of one’s own culture as well as that of others.  In light of the pivotal role religion has played in shaping selves, societies, and cultures from ancient times to the present, the program provides the beginning student with an understanding of the complexity of religious phenomena and offers the advanced student a variety of methods appropriate to such study.

Prospective majors in religion should consult with faculty to construct an individualized plan of study. Typically this plan will include: an introduction to the study of religion to engage the central ideas of the discipline; work in a variety of approaches to the study of religion, including conceptual approaches to the study of religion, religion in society and  ethics; expansion of content knowledge including exploration of the sacred scriptures of a religious tradition; coverage of the history and development of a particular religious tradition; and study in a tradition distinctly different from one’s major focus. Interdisciplinary majors, or senior projects linking religion to other areas of inquiry, are particularly encouraged.

Through a combination of introductory courses, advanced seminars, and courses offered in cooperation with other disciplines, the Religion program works towards the goals of nurturing critical thinking, effective communication skills, and content knowledge. For advanced students, the present faculty in religion offers intensive work in philosophical issues in religious thought, method in the study of religion, religious texts, and religious ethics. Strong attention is given to historical study, analysis of the relationship between religion and society, and in-depth study of key thinkers and traditional problems in religion. Faculty in allied fields and visiting faculty provide additional opportunities to pursue diverse traditions and approaches. 

See Religion web-pages for courses offered in Religion (www.ncf.edu/religion/religion-curriculum) as well as recent senior theses in Religion (www.ncf.edu/religion/senior-thesis-projects).

During the first module of a student's fifth academic semester, the student will consult with a member of the faculty in Religion to determine what work in the concentration has been done and what remains. This meeting will emphasize the student’s skills at communicating the coherence of the student’s program of study. With the agreement of a second faculty member in Religion to the proposed plan of study, the student will submit an Area of Concentration form in Religion. In the sixth academic semester, the student must present a thesis proposal to the faculty in Religion once again fostering the student’s ability to communicate the coherence of the chosen topic. This proposal may serve as the basis for an oral examination by the faculty to determine the viability of the project. With the approval of the thesis committee, the student will submit the Thesis Prospectus and write a thesis under the direction of one of the faculty in Religion. The thesis project and baccalaureate exam will further develop the student’s critical thinking skills, communication skills, and display the specific content knowledge germane to the chosen topic.

Representative senior theses in Religion:

·          Narcissism and Religious Experience Sociological  Surveys of Local Religious Groups

·          Analysis of Implicit Values in Religious Organizations

·          Religious Responses  to the Problem of Evil

·          The Buddha-Matrix  in Chinese Buddhist Thought

·          Dissent in Modern Catholicism

·          The Metamorphosis of Adam in 19th Century American Culture

·          Acting Womanish:  Black Slave Women's Religion

·          Creativity  in Crisis: The Theology and Fiction of Flannery O'Connor and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Faculty in Religion

Douglas C. Langston
Susan Marks
Gordon E. Michalson, Jr.  
John R. Newman
Heather White (Adjunct)

Russian Language & Literature AOC

The Russian program at New College offers courses as well as individual and group tutorials in language and literature. Regularly offered courses focus on literary developments from the era of Sentimentalism at the end of the 18th Century until the present.  Tutorials are normally devoted to important areas of interest which are not included in more formalized course work.  Topics in Russian literature in the medieval period (sermons, hagiography, chronicles), folklore and the oral tradition, the emergence of secular literature in the 17th and 18th Centuries, and advanced work in the translation and analysis of both prose and poetry are typically undertaken in such tutorials.  Students are also encouraged to follow contemporary literary and cultural developments, particularly as they may be seen to fit into the continuum of literary production in Russia, and to pursue work in pertinent cognate areas such as history, political science, and anthropology.   In order to qualify for the AOC, students must pursue off-campus study at another institution or participate in one of the many available programs of language and cultural study in the United States or, ideally, in Russia.  New College students have recently participated in both summer and semester programs of study at Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, and the Linguistics University, Nizhny-Novgorod.  Without exception, travel-study experience has proved to be an invaluable component of the student’s AOC.

Course of Study

Courses and seminars offered on a regular basis at New College include language instruction from the elementary to the advanced level and a wide range of topics in 19th- and 20th-Century Russian literature, among them: Nineteenth Century Russian Short Fiction; Russian Realism: Five Masterpieces; Russian Literature in the Twentieth Century; Dostoevsky:  The Shorter Fiction; N.V. Gogol: The Short Fiction; Tolstoy and Chekhov: The Short Fiction; and The Brothers Karamazov:  A Seminar.  Literature will normally be the major academic component of the AOC.

AOC Requirements in Russian Language & Literature

Demonstration  of proficiency  in the Russian language allowing the student to read and analyze texts of moderate difficulty and to discuss with relative ease topics of everyday life and experience as well as relevant areas of the student’s academic focus.  Students must also demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of at least three areas of Russian literature and literary history, normally two periods and one figure (for example, Russian Romanticism, Symbolist Prose, and Tolstoy).  Broader familiarity with other periods, including developments from the 11th to the 18th Centuries, is also expected.  Normally, attaining this level of expertise will require at least five semesters of language instruction and six or more courses and tutorials devoted to the study of literature and literary history.  Finally, students must complete a senior thesis, which may be a) a study of a broad historical problem in the development of Russian literature, or, b) a general overview of the contribution of a single writer, or, most frequently, c) an analysis of a particular literary text or group of related texts.

Representative Theses in Russian Language & Literature

·          Dream Sequences  and Subjective Reality in Two Short Stories by Victor Pelevin

·          An Analysis of Attitudes towards Death in Tolstoy’s “Master and Man,” War and Peace , Anna Karenina , and “The Death of Ivan Ilych”

·          A Dark Constraining  Silence: The Relationship  between Writing and Identity in Selected Works of Ludmila Petrushevskaya and Anna Akhmatova’s  Requiem

·          The Gooseberries  Taste Test: Moral Progress in Chekhov’s  Prose

·          Nikolai Gogol and the Fantastic

Faculty in Russian

Alina Wyman

Spanish Language & Literature AOC

The Spanish program at New College offers courses at all levels of Spanish language, and courses and tutorials on the literature and culture of Latin America and Spain.  Literature courses are offered both in Spanish and in English translation. Offerings change each year and include the study of particular authors, a genre, a period, or a theme.  Recent offerings include: “The Need for Fictions: Rulfo and García Márquez”;  “Literatura caribeña”; “El cuento latinoamericano”; “El español como materia del verso”; “Blacks and National Discourse in Spanish America”.

Spanish language is taught in a five-semester sequence after which students can enroll in courses and tutorials on literary and cultural topics conducted in Spanish.  Elementary Spanish I & II, and Intermediate Spanish introduce students to Spanish grammar and emphasize the development of communicative skills. Composition and Conversation and Lecturas Hispánicas offer a review of Spanish grammar and an introduction to the study of the culture and the literature of the Hispanic world.  After completing Lecturas Hispánicas, students are prepared to enroll in courses and tutorials that will allow them to do advanced work in the language.  Each spring and fall one advanced course is offered, which is conducted entirely in Spanish.  These courses may be focused on a literary genre (“Spanish as the Fabric of Verse”, “Latin American Short Stories”), or on a particular theme or period (“Caribbean Literature”).   Tutorials and Independent Research Projects in

Spanish must be decided and defined in advanced with a faculty member.  In addition, the courses offered in translation may allow advanced students to do part of the work in Spanish.

Students may concentrate their work in the area of Spanish Language and Culture or Spanish Language and Literature.   In both cases, supporting course work in other relevant disciplines in the humanities and social sciences is expected.  Cross- disciplinary work is a vital part of the New College program as we understand it, and it is strongly supported and encouraged by the faculty in the Spanish Program.  In addition to specific courses in our regular offerings, Tutorials, Independent Research Projects, and Independent Study Projects are frequently designed to meet the particular needs of students who wish to combine their interest in Spanish language, culture, and literature with other fields of study.  All academic work intended to satisfy requirements in this Area of Concentration must be discussed and decided with a member of the Spanish faculty.  The course of study defined to declare an Area of Concentration in this field must be approved by at least two members of the Spanish faculty.

While each student's course of study will reflect her or his own interests, an Area of Concentration  in Spanish Language and Culture or Spanish Language and Literature,  taken as a single or a double Area of Concentration  (AOC), will generally comprise the following:  ten semester-long  academic activities (Courses,  Tutorials, Independent  Research Projects) approved by the faculty of the program; at least one Independent  Study Project (January or summer) supervised  or approved  by the faculty of the program; and a thesis with a focus on relevant aspects of the Hispanic world. No less than eight of the academic activities must be taken in Spanish and at least one of them must be a thesis tutorial (courses taken in Spanish count starting with Composition & Conversation, the fourth semester of language study).  When chosen as a joint Area of Concentration,  Spanish Language and Culture will require the completion  of eight academic activities (Courses,  Tutorials, Independent  Research Projects) approved  by the faculty of the program.  No less than five of them must be taken in Spanish and at least one of them must be undertaken during the senior year as an advanced Spanish course or tutorial.  In the case of the joint AOC, the focus of the thesis is open, but it is expected, at least, that a significant part of the research be conducted in Spanish.

Other requirements include:

1.       One semester of study abroad, supervised and/or approved by the Spanish faculty.  In some exceptional cases, the Spanish faculty may approve that this requirement be satisfied by work in the form of an Independent Study Project in a Spanish speaking country, supervised by a faculty member of the Spanish AOC.

2.       A high level of proficiency in Spanish language, as demonstrated by satisfactory evaluations in all courses, tutorials, and independent research projects conducted in Spanish beyond Composition and Conversation.   A well-defined and strong performance in all areas required by these academic activities is expected from students seeking an AOC in Spanish.

3.       The satisfactory completion of the thesis and an overall final satisfactory evaluation in the thesis tutorial or tutorials, for student seeking a single or double AOC.  In the case of students seeking a joint AOC, a satisfactory evaluation in the course/tutorial undertaken during the senior year, which should include the presentation of a final portfolio.

4.       The senior thesis must reflect the student's interest in the field and her or his capacity to work on a well-defined aspect of the Hispanic world.  Whenever possible, the thesis should be written in Spanish.  Under all circumstances, a significant portion of the research must be done in Spanish.

5.       A satisfactory Baccalaureate Exam.

Sample of senior thesis titles:

·          A Literary Anthropology  of One Hundred Years of Solitude: Finding Our Feet in Macondo Representations of Mexican-American Resistance: The Bandit, the Pachuco,  and the Farm worker Tlatelolco y su impacto en la intelectualidad  mexicana: los casos de Elena Poniatowska  y Octavio Paz

·          No Room in Our Imaginations?  Small Towns, Social Crises and Spaces of Possibility in Short Stories by Arguedas and García Márquez

·          A New Actitud: La lengua y la identidad latina en la cultura estadounidense desde los años ochenta

·          Turn of the Century Dialogues:  An Exercise in Cross-Cultural  Play Production

·          La Chabacanería  Guaracheada:  A Vindication of the Puerto Rican Identity through a Linguistic  and Stylistic Study of Luis

·          Rafael Sanchez's La Guaracha del Macho Camacho

Faculty in Spanish

Charla Bennaji (Visiting 2005-14)
Sonia N. Labrador -Rodríguez
José Alberto Portugal


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